West Bradenton Quest

By Robert Plunket January 11, 2008

I love this neighborhood—and these beautiful, well-priced homes.


By Robert Plunket




OK, enough about how bad the market is. We were having an editorial meeting the other day and reached the conclusion that people are sick of hearing about it. We’re coasting on a plateau at the moment and waiting for the next thing to happen—good or bad.


So let’s go back to reason we’re here in the first place—beautiful, well-priced houses.


One of the local neighborhoods I keep pushing is that area just to the west of downtown Bradenton. It’s got great old houses, lots of trees, and low prices. True, Bradenton is not Sarasota. It’s a sleepy, old-fashioned Southern town. It has a Confederate war memorial in front of the courthouse and an enormous Tropicana plant. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out why it hasn’t become a “cooler” place to live. The atmosphere is great and the housing stock more interesting than Sarasota’s. The big drawback if you live a Sarasota-oriented life is the commute—not so much the time (25 minutes to the Giant Tooth) as the gas prices.

Perhaps the coolest houses in Bradenton are the group of eight or so stone English cottages located just north of Manatee Avenue at 19th Street. They were built back in the 1930s in the Cotswold style; they have locally quarried travertine limestone from Oneco and there is nothing else like them. Three of them are currently on the market—a unique opportunity for old house buffs.




425 19th Court W. is owned by Michael Saunders agent Ruth Lawler, and she’s holding an open house this Sunday, Jan 13, from 1-4 p.m. It’s a long rambling house, beautifully remodeled, with a unique two-story family room featuring a spiral staircase and lots of upgraded touches. At 2,400 square feet, it has two bedrooms (with dormer windows) and two baths. Ruth is asking $485,000. (941) 748-6300.




Right next door at 423 is a similar house, even more eccentric, with odd roof lines and quirky angles and typically English garden landscaping. It has a particularly nice new kitchen, and water views from the back. It’s slightly larger at 2,900 square feet, and features two fireplaces and an enormous master. Karen Soscia at Wagner is the lister and the price is $550,000. (941) 741-2500.




And right around the corner at 1915 Riverview Blvd. is the third house. Its style is more of a foursquare Prairie house done in stone, and while it’s not quite as full of character as the other two, it faces the water, with a great big lot and a caged pool. The asking price is $850,000 and Chris McDivitt at ReMax is the lister. (941) 316-6518.


By the way, also open Sunday afternoon is a brick 1940 Colonial revival nearby, at 406 20th St. W. It will be open from 1 to 4 p.m.

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